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ARMS: Informing Policy on the Farm Economy

Data collected in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey generates a broad array of information, analyses, and uses.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Nothing gives us a better insight into the U.S. farm economy than USDA’s annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). It’s the major source of information on production practices, resource use, and financial conditions among U.S. farms and farm households. Read more »

How Far Has Food Safety Come in 150 years?

Throughout the year, and this month in particular, USDA celebrates 150 years of existence. The legislation that established USDA was signed on May 15, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln. At that point, food safety wasn’t a major concern for the People’s Department.

The turning point for domestic meat inspection really came in 1905 and 1906, after Upton Sinclair published The Jungle. The details of the book described unsanitary working conditions in a Chicago meatpacking house, putting meat consumers at risk for disease. Read more »

Spring brings oohs and aahs – wildflower season begins to bloom across national forests and grasslands

Wildflower displays of blue Wasatch Penstemon and white Nuttall’s linanthus wildflowers bloom in the subalpine meadows of Albion Basin on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest from mid-July through early August.

As spring begins across the nation, fields are turning green – and pastel pink, flaming scarlet, electric orange, brilliant yellow, deep violet and florescent blue.   Wildflowers are abloom!

 This year, the Forest Service has released an updated wildflower map with 317 viewing areas to choose from on America’s national forests and grasslands.  In addition to locations, information is also provided on the best time for peak viewing. Read more »

USDA Rural Development State Offices Hold Energy Stakeholder Meetings

Senator Al Franken and Minn. Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer participate in a roundtable meeting on the USDA Rural Energy For America Program.

Throughout the first quarter of 2012, the 47 Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) State Offices held energy stakeholder meetings across the country to discuss ways the Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) can assist agricultural producers and rural businesses with their energy needs.   Meeting participants included local lenders, grant writers, small business owners, and local, state and federal government agencies. Read more »

Removal of Invasive Tree Improves Health of American Samoa Forests

Dead Tamaligi trees with recovering native forest in the National Park of American Samoa. Photo credit: Tavita Togia, National Park of American Samoa.

Removal of destructive invasive trees is an ongoing challenge for the U.S. Forest Service. What folks might not realize is that this challenge of protecting native forests extends all the way to the South Pacific.  Read more »

Alabama’s Conecuh National Forest Helps Reestablish the Eastern Indigo Snake

A partnership of federal, state and private organizations are working together to re-establish a population of eastern indigo snakes in Alabama.

Alabama conservationists are closer to regenerating a population of the threatened eastern indigo snake in the Conecuh National Forest through the release of numerous juvenile snakes on the forest. The indigo snake is North America’s largest native snake, and plays an important ecological role in Alabama’s wildlife diversity.  Read more »